The Capitals’ John Carlson: “This Is Our Job And Something We Love To Do And That’s What We’re Here For”

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 5.56.23 PMPhoto: @CapitalsPR

On Monday, Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman John Carlson spoke to the media from Hotel X in Toronto as the Capitals begin Phase 4 of the NHL’s Return to Play Plan.

Today marked the first full day the Capitals and other 23 playoff teams had in their respective hub city’s hotel. “We’re enjoying ourselves,” Carlson said. They “haven’t checked everything out” but he complimented the hotel for having enough space, activities, and good food.

Some teams have personalized their hotel rooms with photos of family and friends from back home. Carlson mentioned there isn’t anything like that for the Capitals as the team wants to stay focused, but they do have plenty of photos and videos on their phones.

Carlson also expressed his appreciation for additional team staff who may not get enough credit for the sacrifices they’re making being away from home and family. He said that “everyone is making a sacrifice”, especially those on the frontlines battling the Coronavirus pandemic. “This is our job and something we love to do and that’s what we’re here for,” Carlson added. “We’re here to play hockey.”

Ovechkin called the first night in the bubble “tough”. He misses his wife Nastya and sons, Sergei and Ilya. Ovechkin says being on the road again is a “cool thing”, but missing family will be hard.

The Great Eight said the most important thing for the Capitals heading into the Wednesday’s exhibition game against the Carolina Hurricanes (4 PM ET on NBCSN nationally and NBC Sports Washington locally) will be to “get into shape”. He thinks the first period will be “kind of weird” given a different speed from the previous scrimmages and practices. “We’re all professionals…we understand why we’re here and what we have to do to get better every day.”

Carlson concluded by explaining how everything is getting normal now and how excited he is to finally get back into action. “I think that first exhibition game will kind of open everyone’s eyes…really feel the gameplay and feel the emotion and competitiveness that we’ve all not been able to take out anywhere else.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, Della enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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